BILL INTRODUCED IN CHILE WOULD MAKE MINES USE DESALINATED SEAWATER
Lower house members in Chile have proposed a bill that would require mining companies to use desalinated water from the Pacific Ocean to run their copper mines in Chile. According to a high-level mining industry executive, communities in Chile's Atacama, the world's driest desert, often feel they must compete with mining companies for freshwater; under the new bill, mines that use more than 40 gallons of water per second would be forced to integrate seawater into their operations. While some mining companies, such as Antofagasta Plc and state-owned Codelco and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, already use desalinated water in their mines, concern remains over the high cost of removing salt from seawater. The Santiago Mining Council, for example, claims that rising costs are threatening investments in copper and gold mines. For the full story, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-02/chile-debates-bill-making-mines-use-desalinated-seawater.html and http://www.mining.com/chile-set-to-make-mining-desalination-mandatory-57150/.